Karl Rove is a clown

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“Cindy Sheehan is a clown. There is no real anti-war movement.”
Karl Rove
Yet an estimated 150,000 to 300,000 antiwar protestors stormed the streets of D.C. on Saturday. We were happy to be in attendence. As Steve Earle noted during a performance at the mall on Saturday, not only is there an antiwar movement, the desire to pull out of Iraq is slowly becoming mainstream.

Comments

  1. I don’t think the speakers at the anti-war rally (as seen on CSPAN) are going to inspire mainstream America to join their cause. I felt embarassed for the collection of imbeciles ranting incoherantly at the podium. You guys better hope you haven’t lost moderate Democrats with that comical display of lunacy.

  2. The anonymously attributed post above contains an exaple of the “moderate boogyman syndrome.”
    The idea goes like this: don’t say anything that’s worth saying, don’t take a stand, don’t make a fuss– you could lose the moderates!
    Fuck the moderates. It’s this moderate mania thats tuned the Democrats into a bunch of quivering jellyfish, terrified of actually doing the job that falls to the loyal Party in Opposition.
    The sooner smart free-thinkers start ditching the idea that the great mass of people are “moderate” the more progress will be made getting the goddamned Bush junta the fuck outta Washington.
    I’m pissed off, and I intend to stay that way. Moderates be damned. And fuck Anonymous.

  3. Anonymous makes one interesting point. I saw the rally on C-Span as well (unfortunately, I cannot afford to just drop everything and spend a few days in DC) and found most of the speakers were merely sloganeering and not offering anything other than chanting some tired, warn out cliches. It was embrassing in some cases.
    Now, Ralph Nader had something to say, and apparently the rapidly dwindling crowd came rushing back to hear him. Otherwise, by the end of the rally, most people had simply disappeared. In my opinion, he was the only one who had anything intelligent to say.
    I fear that a lot of people were there to “make the scene” more than they were to make a difference. Still…it’s a good thing to show up at least. It can’t hurt.
    But if you want to start to get people’s attention, then the anti-war movement must dispense with these meaningless chants that are nothing more than mindless sloganeering. It makes them sound like they have absolutely nothing at all to say.

  4. FREEwilliamsburg says:

    The main event was the march, only a portion of the marchers even attended the gathering at the mall. Nevertheless, the speeches we heard from Steve Earle and even Cindy Sheehan were actually quite articulate.
    What the news didn’t cover was the huge number of gulf veterans who marched. Nor did they cover the relatives of the recently deceased in Iraq who marched.
    We’ve covered several Iraq/Bush protests and this is the first time we’ve ever attended one with such a unified voice. Generally, the protests against the war are drowned out by the dozens of splinter groups advocating everything from the Socialist party to ending occupation in Palestine. This march was different, people were organized around one central message: ending the war.
    People keep focusing on the speakers and the attendence on the lawn following the march. The true story was the enormity in size of the march.
    Many people by and large are too cynical and/or afraid to protest these days. That’s why we had no true leader from the Left step up to speak out against the war. And that’s why no mainstream artist like Coldplay or White Stripes headlined the post-march concert. Cowardice and indifference is what you people should be attacking. Not the protestors and speakers. If all the leftie protest cynics had come, we would have shut down DC. And if some true Leftie leaders had some balls, we wouldn’t have been stuck with Sharpton and Sheehan.
    Nevertheless, forget the speakers and the festival on the lawn. The success of the anti-war rally lies in the number of people who marched. And it was a huge turn out. A huge success.

  5. Agreed. There was a huge turnout for the march. I did say that was a good thing. But I still think it would have been even more affective if more people attended the rally as well…AND listened to more well articulated speeches, talks or whatever, regarding the issue of the Iraq war and other issues.
    One of the things that I thought was interesting: There were many speakers who took the podium who spoke of other issues facing the world that those in the crowd seemed to be very disinterested with. (The “Cuban Five” and the death of the “Macheteros” leader for example). I suppose one can’t absorb everything and like you said every little group was there trying to promote it’s agenda.
    I’m not trying to shit on the event here. I’m just concerned that, as you pointed out, some people who could have spoke weren’t present as far as I know (Noam Chomsky for example—was he there?) and I am also concerned that any real substance gets lost among those who turned up just to “be part of it”. Marching alone has it’s point but really doesn’t change anything, unfortunately. Change has to come from action (voting would be a start, since a lot of young people still don’t vote). Organizing on campuses, community activism, etc etc. Over all, I think it’s a good thing that that many people turned out for it.
    In the years to come it will be interesting to see if any real change will occur. 2006 mid-term elections will be one indication. If the same old face return to congress this will not be a good sign. In my view, there is little difference between the Democrats and Republicans. I think young people, especially, should start to push for an alternative to these two corrupt parties. In 2008, if a Democrat wins the White House and regains the majority in the House & Senate, there won’t be much of a change in anything, I’m afraid.
    If this many people can come out to march against the war, where are they when it comes to putting into office people who will make some real change in this society? Voting for the Democrat will not do that. It continues the status quo. The Democratic Party is as much part of the establishment as the Repunlican Party is.
    Where are the alternatives? Where are the numbers who can make this happen? I think a lot of young people feel the Democratic Party is that alternative.
    There are a lot of issues facing this country in the coming years. Sticking with the status quo will only keep things the same if not make them worse since both parties are completely beholden to those who can afford to buy their votes. It’s an illusion of choice. Where are the real choices?
    It can begin by those who vote for an alternative and stop listening to the propoganda machine which says “they can’t win”. If they did, then maybe some real change can take place. Prove ’em wrong. Otherwise, it’s just going to be the same shit over and over again.
    Last time is was Bush vs Kerry. Kerry, was NOT the alternative. It’s just the other side of the same coin. Let’s see what happens in 2008. What will the alternative to the Republican be? Hilary Clinton? John Edwards? Biden? Hardly the vehicles for real change, huh?

  6. Sergio sed:
    “Marching alone has it’s point but really doesn’t change anything, unfortunately. Change has to come from action”
    i think that is only partly true. those that failed to show up missed out on the various tents and workshops sponsored by the different splinter groups and issues. while focused on the war on saturday, those groups are galvanized to speak to their causes for the same reasons they speak out against the war: racism, gross capitalism, etc…
    the left will grow as people recoginze those connections and work/build the movement together, and that kind of action was taking place in a big way on saturday. it will take time, but i believe “our side” will continue to grow if we continue to understand those connections.
    it’s those connections that the Democrats fail or refuse to see, sadly. which is why i voted for Nader twice. not because i thought he would win but because he speaks the truth. to me voting for Kerry and Gore was tantamount to throwing my vote away.
    lastly, let me say that i belive marches have a kind of karmic effect, and produce an indirect kind of change. most importantly they bring people together, and that’s the main thing. the speeches were for the marchers primarily, and they helped to lift emotions as well as provide occasional intellectual dialogue and both are just as important.
    Jah

  7. Ben you have the freedom to be pissed and ineffectual. If you think that marching along with CODE PINK and the Anarchist Bicyclists For Peace shouting tired slogans is going to make a difference then knock yourself out.

  8. Sergio, you seem to be an intelligent well intentioned person. What will this “real change” involve? Who is the ideal candidate for president and what would you like him to do?

  9. hey, you guys might enjoy this, some of you might have seen it already but it’s worth checking out if you haven’t:
    http://www.filmstripinternational.com/index.php?asshole

  10. “Real change” would involve a fundamental change in our culture, meaning, a complete reevaluation of our values as a society. What to do exactly and how to do it? I don’t have the answers nor do I pretend to. What I mean by a fundamental change of our values would be realizing that people are more important that property; that how much money one makes is NOT the barometer of a person’s value as a human being; the recognition that the president and the congress are civil servants and they work for US and not the other way around; that creativity and education should be truly valued and should be encouraged rather than trying to stifle that creativity and individuality in the name of “leveling the playing field (which usually means discouraging creativity and individuality for the sake of the mob); that the physical environment is primary to profits of the corporations; that housing is not only for those who can afford it; finding a new source of energy rather than depending on fossil fuels (a funny thing to me is that the people who scream about paying an extra few cents for a gallon of gas have no problem paying $5 for a latte at Starbucks. Nevertheless we had 30 odd years to come up with an alternative but there are powerful forces involved that will not allow this to happen and people WANT their SUVs and Hummers which rely on this), things of that nature but mainly an overhaul of America’s value system. That change can’t come with a mere election of a politician. It comes from within all of us and that isn’t something so easy to achieve. That’s harder than anything else.
    We live in a society that puts value on wealth and success as the sole baromoter of the worth of a human being. In our society, if you aren’t wealthy or famous, then you may as well be anonymous. The problem is that the public at large accepts this and believes this as well. Not everyone, but a large number do—including the new immigrants who come to this country.
    What kind of car you drive, what products you own, what kind of home you have…and now even what zip code you happen to live in seem to define the worth of an individual (a lot of modern day “bohemians” fall into this particular trap all the time). It isn’t about who a person is it’s all about what they have and what they can afford. This is nothing new of course.
    There’s an interesting saying I came across once when I was a much younger man that had a big impact on me. That is “The revolution begins in the bathroom mirror”. It starts with us. Politics alone will not change anything. It has to come from a fundamental change in what we find important in this world as human beings. These days, it’s all about politics. The right thinks it’s about money and religion; the left thinks it’s about political change and merely passing laws. What good is this if we as a people are at root accepting the standards set by those who have the most to gain from those standards?
    Like I said, I have no answer but I do know that unless we as a society reevaluate what is important to us as a society, things will essentially remain the same. It’s a philosophical change as well as a cultural one. It’s not as “tangible” as electing the right politician.
    Realistically, I don’t see this happening any time soon and certainly a lot of people do not agree with this. So what’s the solution? Who knows? All I know, things as they are in America is not a good thing. The value systems we accept as a society are not a good thing.
    I don’t have the answers or specific solutions. All I know is voting for a particular candidate or marching in a protest parade or standing at a podium chanting slogans will not bring about that change alone.
    The universities, the artists, the “intellectuals”, etc used to be (or at least see themselves as) the vanguard of a new cultural aesthetic but I fear even that is hopeless now being that politics and ideologues have taken over the reigns.
    I don’t pretend to have the answers. All I know is that things as they are are not good and until we reevaluate what is important to us, things will essentially remain the same.

  11. Anonymous (do we know each other enough for me to call you An?):
    Nice attempt at shifting what you said and what I said. You said the speaches were embarassing and could alienate the “moderates.” I said the moderates could take a flying fuck at a rolling donut. Anyone who tries to keep real change from happening always trots out the usual “these people are kooks” / “the moderates will run screaming” double-shot of horseshit.
    You had no actual retort to that, so now you shift to say that marching and chanting don’t change anything. I never said they did, and the one occasion I participated in a march (the Anti-RNC one in late August of last year) I found myself questioning the feasability of politcs by way of bongos and A/A rhyme-schemed chants myself. I hate bongoes. I don’t chant along with crowds. I think the people handing out copies of the Socialist Worker need to take some history and economics classes and actually take notes this time around.
    HOWEVER, fashion and music choices aside, I’d rather march along with people who go out and demonstrate, by their presence, that they will not sit by while the new aristocracy runs roughshod over their rights, the rights of others, and twists the language of freedom into elaborate Orwellian balloon animals to make people feel okay about it.
    You can shrug off the demonstrators, that’s fine, but they’re your fellow Americans, no matter what they smell like. There are a lot of them. There are more freaks at the demo then there are at the fenced-in Yippee We’re Free Sept. 11 Nuremberg rally, more than at the “counter anti-war” demonstrations (Let me hack thru the verbiage there: Pro-War demonstrations).
    It’s a bleeding, crying, screaming, bloody fucked-up shame that Americans took this long to become weary of President Corky the Wonder Chimp, and for that the country will have to attone, but your glib dismissal of the power of the people marks you as someone who’s fuzzy on the central concept of “Democracy.”
    TO sergio, and many other posters on this thread: Very interesting thoughts, I’ve enjoyed reading them. One day I hope to be able to argue politics without working “blue”, but, well, I’m angry. I’ll try to work on that.
    Good day, all.

  12. “Corky The Wonder Chimp”.
    I like that!

  13. Things to do.
    1. Form a third party that actually makes sense.
    2. This should be number 1. Get rid of every single congressman and senator, and elected official in America with the qualification that they may run for office again without any campaign contributions whatsoever, which will apply to all who run. Give each candidate the same amount of money to run, the amount realistically derived from the estimated cost of that particular campaign. Television exposure and ads will be run free of charge always-to take away the advantage of personal wealth, which, by the way, will not be permitted to be used, and the cost for any deviation from that process will be instant disqualification-no trials, no hearings-nothing but disqualification. The length of campaigns will be shortened. The electoral process will always generate a paper trail that can be clearly examined without doubt as to hanging chads etc. voting venues picked and supplied in relation to the amount of people living in any given precinct without prejudice. This does not have to happen in one fell swoop but in a series of elections so contiguity of government is kept.
    3. I keep coming up with number 1. again. Impeach our present president, vp, and get rid of all of his cabinet. And all the people with positions of influence.
    4. Repeal comepletely the Patriot act and all ancillary rules. Disband homeland security completely.
    5. The supreme court will be stripped of political influence-humanity being its primary concern, not money or politics or religion.
    6. Corporations will no longer be recognized as a person in legal terms, will be allowed to grow to specific limitations only and must divest themselves of businesses over that limit so as to secure the idea of true marketing and not big fish eating little fish. Corporations will not be allowed to take business overseas as a means of higher profits for a few, leaving the rest of us with empty lunch sacks.
    7. We are living in a finite world and capitalisms raison D’tre is continuous growth which is impossible to sustain-all effort must be focused on this problem-our future as a viable planet depends on it. the problem of oil and the environment must be addressed worldwide with pragmatic solutions and the decisions will apply to every country on this planet.
    8. Medical and dental insurance will be provided free to all with an extra tax put on those making more money than they need-details need to be worked out this is off the cuff but I have thought that we could come up with a working medical system without too much trouble once you get the insurance companies out of the picture.
    9. There will be no lobbyists allowed in Washington D.C., there will be no contributions from lobbyists whatsoever.
    10. The basic function of government will be the empowerment of its people, not the wealthy only, not the powerful, but each and everyone of us.
    11. There will be a halt to the sale of weapons of any sort to other countries and all and I mean all nuclear weapons on this planet will be destroyed.
    What I am talking about is revolutionary and meant to be so-the only things we need to keep in this once beautiful democracy for some, is the constitution and the bill of rights.
    12. People, as the bill of rights states. will be free, as always, to worship and carry the faith of any religion and go to the churches, temples, mosques et al of their choice, but religion will be strictly separated from the processes of governance, as there is always a problem of freedom in theocracies.
    I might have posted this in the wrong place I was answering somebody who wasn’t sure what we should do with government after we get rid of Mr. Null and Void. I am with most of you and I agree about moderate democrats-I could give a rats ass about being moderate, now is not the time to be moderate, we are facing our immanent demise with people in power all over the world and particularly here in America, who are certifiabley insane-that is the only conclusion I can draw from my observation of the insanity I am surrounded by, and if we are to save ourselves they must be removed from seats of power.
    Thanks,
    Burnie

  14. You’ve got an interesting list, burnie. Good ideas, even if they will be difficult to make happen.
    I have just one pet idea for promoting real democracy in the land of the dollar-sign Jesus: we need to create a hard-core group of un-buyable journalists. Almost like some kind of sworn-to-ask-tough-questions warrior monks. (Yeah… go on, laugh. It’s funny, I’m promoting the idea of Jedi Journalists here, but no one ever reads this far down these threads after this many days, so I’m safe, I think.)
    I know, it’s a hair-brained idealist project that will never happen, BUT, the problem with democracy in this country is that no one cares about truth, they care about dollars. For every story with real weight, with actual facts and research about something we all need to know (Like, fer instance, the fact that China threatened to nuke the U.S. this past summer… it’s true, look it up), there are a kajillion puff pieces about some actress person’s dress or, worse still, sensationalist stories about sharks or something. We need journalists that have real ethics, aren’t in the pocket of ANY politician or political party, can’t be bought and who also are RESPECTED enough to always have access– no more worrying about getting kicked out of the White House Press Room for asking Scott an uncomfortable question.
    We have to remember, the point of democracy is that WE are in charge, and we can’t run a country with so much bullshit that passes for news.
    I have no idea where I’m going with this, and I know it’s a pipedream, but I think the items on Burnie’s list, valid though they are, won’t happen until the voters in this country get real, actual news– and are educated enough to think critically about the information they’re handed.

  15. Ben,
    A the puff and empty of any value news or should I say orchestrated news is just what poeple in power want. They don’t want us to be smart, and educated, and informed. By the way there are reporters in the world that strive to tell the truth they see.
    Dahr Jamal
    Robert Fisk
    Seymour Hersh
    There many more but there names escape me right this minute. I know that my points for how to run government are a dream but they are a valid fix for what is going on. I am not so egotistical to think that this is the only solution, everybody bitches, and maybe if we bitch we need to have some idea of a solution of said bitch. We have a administration that is very dysfunctional and, I might add, very dangerous, and they must be removed from office and power-I don’t know how to do this, I am sort of like an ant trying to have intercourse with an elephant-but it won’t stop me from trying.
    Burnie

  16. Somehow the beginning of my post got screwed up-I was just trying to say that all the news and the puff news-you know, movie stars et al is just something to keep us occupied and distracted from the crap this government of ours is pulling off right under our noses.
    Burnie

  17. Ben, there is are productive ways to communicate your point of view and unproductive ways. The reality is that “moderates” make up the majority of either party. Most Americans are not as educated and hip on politics as you Ben. They turn to the media (mostly television) for information to help them decide where they stand on an issue. Trust me, this demonstration did not help the cause of the anti-war movement. Most Americans (residing off the college campus) will be turned off by these antics and ignore the message. The Left will better serve itself by tempering its emotions and acting reasonable when given a platform to express it’s views.

  18. Take another toke Burnie.

  19. Burnie: It’s more than just what you say. It’s very clear that the public at large WANTS to hear about Jennifer and Brad or Paris Hilton’s sexcapades. There was a recent poll that showed that the major newspapers and magazines sales have leveled off and the gossip rags are selling more than ever. Add to this that our “news”papers are now littered with celebrity “news”—even as far as always grabbing the headlines. If World War III broke out tomorrow, you could almost guarantee that the headline of the paper will be who Donald Trump is fucking.
    I agree with what you say 100% but I also think the American people, generally, are also part of the problem. The papers, like anything else, looks at the bottom line and they seemed to have realized that if you cram the newspapers full of celebrity news more people will buy them.
    The fact that the sales of newspapers seem to be leveling off and the gossip papers are selling better than ever seems to indicate that the American people don’t even want ANY news at all; that they’d rather read about movie stars and models and rich people playing their “Gatsby” games.
    It’s very sad. The powers that be must be rejoicing like never before.

  20. “How fortunate for those in power that the people do not think”—Hitler.
    I hate to agree with Hitler on anything…but I’m afraid he’s got a good point here. This sort of relates to the posts above about the celebrity worship and the “distractions” Americans seek. The statement above could have been said by anyone in government today. That’s what’s so sad….and frightening

  21. Anonymous,
    I’m going to disagree with you (big shocker, but I swear I’m not just trying to be contrary here, I’ve got a point and everything).
    I think the demonstration did help the anti-war movement, no matter what the mainstream, moderate take on it was.
    Two reasons:
    1. When people of like mind gather, people of like mind network. They see how many people there are who are not content with the status quo. They see they are not as isolated as those in power would like them to feel. They can meet with others, pool resources, co-ordinate and take thier efforts to other venues– including the standard political ones.
    2. As I stated before, the moderates aren’t worth a squirt of piss. How do you “moderately” sign off on a war? Who are these jokers? The people who’s allegiance blows with the prevailing winds aren’t worth courting. They are followers, and not even good ones. Fickle little pieces of political drifwood, rolling with what they believe to be the prevailing currents. To hell with them and their spood-fed media-approved opinions.
    How the hell can people sit by, “being moderate,” while kids are getting their limbs blown off so Dick Cheney’s bank account can get even bigger? If that doesn’t motivate you to do something, then I don’t care if I have your support or not. You’re just not worth it.

  22. If I was there, I’d have been marching for pirates! Arrr!

  23. Anonymous says:

    “When people of like mind gather, people of like mind network”, “To hell with them and their spood-fed media-approved opinions”
    I thought the idea was to influence those who are undecided or disagree with your views. Your whiny condescending attitue is precisely what allowed an unpopular fuck up like Bush to get reelected.

  24. It was the evengelicals (and like minded fellow travelers) as well as those young people who demonstrated and didn’t vote that got Bush reelected. I hung around the Republican convention demonstrations and was amazed to find many young people there who weren’t even registered to vote! Of course, in New York, it didn’t mean anything since Kerry would take NY no matter what, but how many of these people came in from other states that would have made a difference? Some of the ones I spoke to were from all over the country.
    That had something to do with it more than people accepting spoon-fed opinions from the corporate media.
    These were the one’s I referred to about those just wanting to “make the scene” and play revolutionary but in the end, went back to their lives of comfort and then were amazed that Bush got reelected. If more young people actually voted, it may have made a difference.
    With that said, I don’t think things would have been that different if Kerry would have one. Remember, he never said he would get our troops out of Iraq. He said that he would have fought it differently. If he would have one, right now Iraq would have been “Kerry’s war” much like during the Vietnam era when Johnson’s war quickly became Nixon’s war.
    Of course, I’m merely speculating but from Kerry’s talk during the campaign, this is sure what it looked like was going to happen.
    Didn’t matter either way for me. I voted for Nader. He was the only one who spoke of actually getting us out of that mess. And since a lot of people were more concerned about going with a “winner” instead of voting their conscience, we have Bush again. Imagine what would have happened if people stopped listening to the rhetoric that Nader “couldn’t win” and really rallied behind him. To me, voting for either Kerry or Bush was a vote for the status quo.

  25. Too early in the AM. I mean “won” not one! Ooops.!

  26. Anonymous says:

    What is the matter with you Sergio? You don’t run a grammar and spell check on your posts. Sheeesh!

  27. Sorry, Professor. Am I going to get an “F” now? What will that do to my Hipster Grade Point Average? Oh, the humanity!!

  28. Liberals like to keep minorities in a corner, liberals in Williamsburg are taking away prime spaces and driving up rents. Why don’t you all just go back to Vermont, New Hemphire, Maine, Boston or where ever you communist came from.
    ps, leave bedford alone and stop polluting the area with your stupid trendy little stores.

  29. Anon said:
    “Liberals like to keep minorities in a corner, liberals in Williamsburg are taking away prime spaces and driving up rents. Why don’t you all just go back to Vermont, New Hemphire, Maine, Boston or where ever you communist came from.”
    dear Anon, please get a clue. liberals don’t drive up rents, the market does. want to change something in that regard? i urge you to contact your local GOP (or other non-Liberal) rep and see what a great “help” they will be. best of luck, buddy. Jah

  30. And I see the Democrats are doing a great job on that regard as well….

  31. First, Joe was that some indication of what you think of my comments? that I dreamed this up in my drug addled brain, because I am some kind of stoner and I had nothing better to do-take your head out of your ass and look around. We are facing the demise of our country, it is being run by a group of people, far worse than even you can imagine, right into the ground. They have to be stopped, my thoughts on what needs to be done are just that, my thoughts on possible solutions to a very real and dangerous time in America and the world, and they make more sense than you calling somebody a stoner, for no other reason than a short supply of brain power and a lack of imagination. because I care about my country and do not want to see shitheads ruin it, spreading death and destruction all over the planet. Instead of calling me a stoner, why didn’t you write or contribute your ideas to mine? My conclusion can only be that you are either just a shit disturber who cares for nothing or you are too ignorant to think for yourself, and that was your best shot. If you want to insult me be a little more imaginative than “take another toke stoner”. And I will reiterate something, this is not a time to be moderate, it is time to push the envelope-lead and others will follow, the people we are dealing with are not moderate or nice, if they could get away with it they would throw all dissidents in jail or worse, much worse.
    Burnie

  32. Take a prozac Burnie.

  33. nice,
    A question Joe, how old are you?
    Burnie

  34. Joe,
    I am not sure why you are flaming me joe, all I care about is making America a place my children can grow up in without the likes of george and company. Even conservatives should ber blanching at his antics. I want nothing for me, you can slam me all you want, I don’t understand it, unless you are a George bush guy. Joe people are dying for lies . We are torturing people for lies, we have killed prisoners for no reason, we are using depleted uranium that has a half life of god knows what, and you call me a stoner, or to chill with some prozac, and that’s what you want to talk about? either join the fight or take it down the road, I want my country back, and I want george and company to answer for their crimes-so take your best shot joe, I’m a mensh, and I can take it.

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